Of all the artforms in Britain, sculpture has been widely regarded as the most inventive and innovative. Over the decades the pace with which it has evolved to incorporate new materials, new forms and new ideas has been unmatched. This display offers an opportunity to trace key moments from the mid 20th century to today.
From coloured steel in works by Anthony Caro, to Barry Flanagan’s soft fabric and photographs of grass, sculpture is seen in a state of perpetual revolution. Ian Hamilton Finlay reminds us of sculpture’s political potential, despite its demise as either monument or memorial. Gilbert & George introduce the idea of seriality and ephemerality through their postcard series. Richard Long removes constraints of scale simply by walking in the landscape, and bringing back the evidence in text and photographs. Tony Cragg, Bill Woodrow, Richard Deacon and Richard Wentworth - the New Sculptors - re-introduce the urban landscape by giving scrap and other scavenged street materials unexpected new life, the 20th century equivalent of metaphysical poetry. Richard Wilson’s Corner transposes table football from the bar-room to the gallery, and Jim Lambie’s glittering turntables bring club culture into the daylight.
This display marks the British Council’s 75th anniversary. It is one of five displays presented over one year and selected by guest curators who each contribute a distinct curatorial perspective. The final display in Spring 2010 will result from an international competition open to curators worldwide.